The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

This is a part of our Cambodia forums to chat about anything, whether it relates to Cambodia or not. This discussion forum is at the top of our site because it's usually the busiest part of the expat community chatter with random topics on just about everything, including expat life, Khmer politics, Cambodian blogs we have or have come across, or whatever else our members want to discuss. Whether you're an expatriate, tourist, Cambodian or random traveler just passing through South East Asia, you are welcome to talk about anything or start new topics yourselves.
Soi Dog
Expatriate
Posts: 2236
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 8:53 am
Reputation: 5

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by Soi Dog » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:48 pm

Cowshed Cowboy wrote:
Samouth wrote: i learned that most of them are working as intern at some of the big international organisations such as UN, UNDP and USAID. They do not get any salary or allowance from those organisations, but from their government. This is such a great opportunity to be able to work in the foreign countries and to experience different kinds of lifestyle.

PS: My government (The Kingdom of Wonder) will never be able to give me such chance.
I do think they are fortunate to experience that at a young age and hopefully it opens up their eyes and they learn and benefit from the opportunity. It's easy to take a good education system for granted coming from the West and I do feel fortunate seeing the situation in some countries where I've worked. Personally It took me a lot of years of hard work and planning and a bit of luck to realise my ambition to work overseas. But they say you make your own luck through hard work.

What I would say Samouth is that it's not all a bed of roses in the West, youth unemployment is extremely high in some European countries. Spain for example has 55% youth unemployment and half of all under 30's still live with their parents. You are seeing the fortunate few and not the typical majority.
Spot on. :thumb:
Samouth
Expatriate
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:25 am
Reputation: 12
Location: Phnom Penh
Burundi

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by Samouth » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:49 pm

kiwiincambodia wrote:Actually, the difference is in the west we are taught to stand on our own 2 feet at a young age. I started working when i was 15, moved out of home at 16 and lived by myself ever since.

My now ex wife's brother is 22 and still living at home with his sister (not the ex) and is considered to young to live alone and support himself. He has to follow the rules set out by the family and cannot do anything with their approval.

When Cambodians realize that there is a life away from the family they can choose to have the same experiences in the open world as western youth supposedly have as long as they are willing to work hard and become self sufficient.
I also started to live far away from my family in young age too. i moved to live outside when i was 15 years old, even thought i was still being supported by my parents, but it is hard for Cambodian in general. By the time, i had to study at high school, however there was no high school in my village, so i had to move to live in the city in order to continue my study. I finished high school when i was 17 years old then i moved to live in Phnom Penh to continue my higher education. So far, i have been living in Phnom Penh for more then 5 years.

The problem that i raised up here is that most of the countries (government) in the west really pay more attention toward their youths while my country seems likely to do nothing for its youths.
បើសិនធ្វើចេះ ចេះឲ្យគេកោត បើសិនធ្វើឆោត ឆោតឲ្យគេអាណិត។

If you know a lot, know enough to make them respect you, if you are stupid, be stupid enough so they can pity you.
User avatar
Cowshed Cowboy
Expatriate
Posts: 1030
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 4:25 pm
Reputation: 153
Nigeria

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by Cowshed Cowboy » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:07 pm

Samouth, do you think that given Cambodia is demographically a young country the youth will be frustrated enough to resort to violent means at election time if they feel the government is not creating an environment where the majority can progress at a fast enough pace ? The abuse of privilege and extreme wealth of the connected must be frustrating.
Never trust a man who when left alone with a tea cosey, doesn't try it on.
User avatar
Username Taken
Raven
Posts: 9755
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:53 pm
Reputation: 1400
Contact:
Cambodia

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by Username Taken » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:55 pm

The problem with opportunities for the youth in Cambodia is poverty driven. The haves and the have nots.

Those families in the provinces who have nothing, simply have little opportunity.
(There are many in this group that are not even educatable. Completely and totally simple. Wanna meet my sister-in-law?)
Those in the provinces who have parents that don't play cards, drink, sit around, etc. will have better opportunities to those whose parents do the above.
(All villages have some one or two that were smarter than the rest and moved to the big city for advanced education or opportunities. Many of them succeed. Some don't.)


You look around Phnom Penh, the kids of business owners, wage earners, etc., they're doing ok. They do have opportunities.
But also in Phnom Penh there are the wanker muggers, robbers and rural blue collar workers who have little opportunity due to their lack of education.

Not everyone is equal. Not fair, but true.

I have worked with Khmer country bumpkins with brains.
I have also worked with Khmer city boys with Masters degrees that know jack sh*t.

This is Cambodia. You want opportunity, you need money. In Cambodia money can buy you anything.
... give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock ...

https://BooksAboutCambodia.com
AE86
Expatriate
Posts: 852
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:36 am
Reputation: 79
Japan

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by AE86 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:23 pm

I hate to say it this way, but so many Khmer (and Vietnamese to be fair) that I've come across who are poor and have nothing, have no one to blame but themselves. I've seen over 600 workers from the rural areas come and go at our place (which offers double the 74 dollar minimum wage) and only 7 workers have stayed by virtue of 1. showing up 2. not stealing things 3. not demanding ridiculous things like me buying them a brand new bike after working for 2 weeks, etc. Sure, $150 a month sounds small (plus food and transporation) but it's general labor with no education required. Just show up, transportation provided, food provided, housing provided. Easy to save up money in this kind of environment, even enough for school, a bike, clothes, etc. But no, doesn't matter. It's not an exaggeration, 7 workers over the 12 years my family here has been in business, that's all that have kept their job. They can't be bothered to fulfill the simple criteria..., that's a damn horrible ratio of shit to competence.

Even the tuk tuk drivers next to my place now can't even be bothered to be hired because they're busy playing cards. No joke, I had to walk 4 streets away this morning to attempt to get a tuk tuk, but instead ended up taking a taxi because it was the only vehicle with a willing to work driver.

There are a few bright people out there, but honestly, government can't be blamed for the massive level of laziness and incompetence amongst a large amount of people. I'll stick my neck out on this one, but I know a few government officials (corrupt and not), and most of them don't give a damn about many locals for the same reasons I do. You just can't do anything with so many of them, so you lose all your motivation to help them.

Samouth, I am not saying you're this kind of person, you type in English quite well and seem relatively smart. That's great! It's just that most people I've run into are not like you, so that's how I see things often.
Reckless driving cucumber - 成
CaliforniaGuy
Expatriate
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:22 am
Reputation: 0
United States of America

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by CaliforniaGuy » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:47 pm

Samouth you are obviously one of those who will do very well in life, talking to people, learning, studying, working, being proactive. Good for you! It is undoubtedly more difficult in Cambodia to get a good education, find meaningful work, and make money, than it is in the major western countries. And this is especially so in the rural areas of Cambodia. No high school in your village for example. One big difference as others have mentioned is the need for connections in Cambodia. My experience is limited but virtually all of the well off, well educated, people with good jobs in Cambodia that I know had some sort of connection to get there.

It is the opposite with my experience in the U.S. While connections are of course helpful everywhere, most of the well off people I know in the U.S. did not get there by having connections. They got there by working hard and taking advantage of the educational system, and using their own intelligence and hard work. I also know others in the U.S. who came from better off families that by the time they were in their 50s or 60s had pretty much pissed away all their advantages and ended up on the lower end of the economic spectrum. In the U.S. people are able to make connections in life, it seems in Cambodia they are more hard wired and this is certainly a problem.

One has to believe there is the possibility of success to justify to themselves to put in the effort to get ahead. Optimism usually wins out over pessimism, which is the killer of motivation. So keep doing what you are doing and you will do well. I get the feeling that pessimism may be the overriding factor that keeps Khmers lazy and unable to take advantage of the opportunities that AE86 talked about. Why work, I won't get ahead anyway.

I see that here in the U.S. too. Two types of people, those that are optimistic about the future and hence are willing to study and work hard to achieve it, and those who think that the odds are stacked against them, so better to just party today and do as little as possible.

Corruption, history and pessimism are big hurdles to get over. It seems to me you are one of those who can do it, sad to hear AE86's statistics, seems like it is going to be a long time for the majority though.
I wish I knew a whole lot more, or a whole lot less.
Bitte_Kein_Lexus
Expatriate
Posts: 2639
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 7:32 pm
Reputation: 152

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:51 pm

I think the truth lies somewhere in between. Kiwi is right about having to work hard in order to accomplish something, especially if you don't have any connections. This applies both here and in the west, but obviously more here. However, the young westerners Smouth met were chosen out of a large bank of potential candidates. They most likely studied/worked hard to get these positions. And they're not really getting any money. It's mostly for the experience, a way to build up their CVs (as others have mentioned, youth unemployment is high in some countries, so "internships" are all a young person can hope for). Thinking they were magically handed these opportunities is a bit simplistic, they sought them. As mentioned by others, the level of laziness, lack of self-discipline and personal drive can be quite shocking to foreigners. Many workers aren't reliable, and many students are extremely lazy, despite having a much lighter workload than western students.

Still, I'm always reminded of the lack of opportunities here, especially when I'm out riding my bike in the countryside or watching street kids in the city. Kiwi, you were most likely given a solid education at little to no cost. You then worked in an environment which made it possible to save. Basically, you were quite lucky to have been born in NZ. Had you been born in Banteay Mencheay, your chances of (financial) success would be quite lower. Of course, success can be measured in many different ways (relationships, family, etc). Someone born in BMC could be more successful than you in many ways, but I think in terms of raw opportunities, Kiwi has had way more than the average Cambodian. It's not like they can just waltz into a foreign country for leisure/work.

Though not being born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I certainly can't complain about the opportunities which were presented to me and realize that I'm quite lucky to have been born in a certain part of the world and in a slightly selfish way, I'm quite thankful for that. I can't believe you think the average Cambodian has equal opportunities to a western kid... The parents of a child out in the countryside could be the most caring parents in the world, it won't change the fact that the opportunities for their child will be much more limited (in pure terms) to that of a western kid. Even if the kid tries really hard, he won't be started on equal ground as an average western kid. However, there are a TON of scholarships/internships for Cambodian kids now. I know some who have been to many events in Korea, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Australia etc. Most western scholarships are merit-based, but many in Cambodia are available solely because the person is from Cambodia (a "developing" country).

Still, I think that people make their luck collectively. Young people in the west get more opportunities because we've got a superior education system, and we've worked hard to get there. Education, creativity, hard-work and independence are very strong values in the west, which have been fostered and passed down through several generations. Wallowing in self-pity never helped anyone.
Ex Bitteeinbit/LexusSchmexus
User avatar
StroppyChops
The Missionary Man
Posts: 10579
Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 11:24 am
Reputation: 997
Australia

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by StroppyChops » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:07 pm

Warning: gross generalisation ahead.

Personally I'm starting to suspect that - away from the sweat shops - the minimum wage debate is having the opposite effect than intended. What I see is a whole lot of people lazing through the day, drinking beer for breakfast and playing cards from morning to midday (and then sleeping) while slapping minimum wage stickers everywhere. It seems to be developing a false sense of entitlement which then devolves into angst and bitterness that "the man" is withholding from me that which is lawfully mine, irregardless of my own lack of work effort/ethic, and those unethical barang who have so much are not giving it to me.
Bodge: This ain't Kansas, and the neighbours ate Toto!
AE86
Expatriate
Posts: 852
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:36 am
Reputation: 79
Japan

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by AE86 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:15 pm

I just stumbled across this in my photo album. I restored a Cub about 2 years ago and sold it to a Vietnamese lady so she could use it for her small business. Here's what it used to look like.

Image

Image

I found the bike again just recently at her place just 18 months later and this is what it ended up looking like.

Mirrors gone, plastics broken, paint scratched to hell, side covers broken off, basket falling off and tied with twine, ignition switch missing, the list goes on and on.

Image

Notice how the signal lamp was broken on and tied to the luggage rack...

Image

I asked what happened to it, and she complained bitterly about how her workers couldn't be bothered to take care of it, so everything ended up broken and destroyed. I bought the bike back for $250 after having sold it to her for $1,300, couldn't bear to see it in that state.

Sorry but, It's things like this that make it extremely hard for a business owner to care about those under you. I mean, sure, it's a $1,300 bike...but when something ends up like so, how much does this make you want to care about those that have stewardship over your stuff?

/rant


I can understand the pessimism though, so really, it's a vicious cycle I believe. People up top don't want to help those at the bottom, and as such, those at the bottom don't want to do anything to get ahead.


Re: education wise, I think there are always going to be ups and downs with everything but of course, Cambodians can't be compared to others in having an equal start as BKL stated. I think though it has a lot again to do with general motivation. If many Khmers wanted, Vietnam was very open to offering education to them at very little or no cost. I don't know the specifics, only that I know many Khmer (fluent in Vietnamese now) who got their education in Vietnam for free. I also know of many who have studied abroad in Japan and the U.S., many on developing country scholarships, so in terms of what they were "given" compared to me, I can say I got none of that.

I did poorly in middle school and already by the age of 13, most of my teachers were telling me I was destined for failure and that there was no chance of scholarship in the future, so I gave up. I didn't even have a chance to finish high school, although I wont for a moment say that I had it worse than a rural villager here. Just trying to say that like many "Westerners", I was destined for a mediocre labor job and no real interesting future while I got to watch all my supposed friends advance in the world while I sat back and skated, thinking I was a nobody.

In all, I guess what I am saying is that the grass is always greener on the other side, but for me, none of those Western "opportunities" like schooling and such were an advantage to me, in fact it made me rather depressed. I had to pick my ass up and start doing something and find my own joy and motivation in life before life started to become worth living. Even in a richer country, nothing was given to me (I used to sleep at a bus stop on a pile of snow and then walk to work and "shower" with the bathroom sink), and only after I started really going after things did my life turn around. I suspect the same can be true for Cambodia.
Reckless driving cucumber - 成
User avatar
Username Taken
Raven
Posts: 9755
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:53 pm
Reputation: 1400
Contact:
Cambodia

Re: The West gives so much opportunities for their youths

Post by Username Taken » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:17 pm

StroppyChops wrote:Warning: gross generalisation ahead.

Personally I'm starting to suspect that - away from the sweat shops - the minimum wage debate is having the opposite effect than intended. What I see is a whole lot of people lazing through the day, drinking beer for breakfast and playing cards from morning to midday (and then sleeping) while slapping minimum wage stickers everywhere. It seems to be developing a false sense of entitlement which then devolves into angst and bitterness that "the man" is withholding from me that which is lawfully mine, irregardless of my own lack of work effort/ethic, and those unethical barang who have so much are not giving it to me.
A couple of decades of International Aid, NGO's etc hasn't helped the sense of entitlement.
... give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock ...

https://BooksAboutCambodia.com
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post